With all of the talk of Home Automation at the recent CES and the further development of Apple’s HomeKit I thought I’d start to take a look at the subject matter. My fellow co-hosts Ric and Matt have both already been deeply ensconced in the ‘Home of the Future’ <to be read in an ominous futurist voice>. Employing a number of adaptive lighting and power switches that can be controlled remotely.
Personally I have never really been that interested in home automation. Sure, the idea of pressing one button and the house suddenly entering ‘night mode’ consisting of all the lights turning off, doors locking, curtains pulling and TV’s shutting down is a fairly intriguing proposition but not something I would ever consider spending real money on achieving. For me the act of simply spending a few minutes running around the house can result in same outcome for zero cash outlay, plus the process might afford me some much needed exercise.
However, the fact that our rather old fire alarms have been, now don’t judge me on this because I’m sure I’m not alone here, have been bereft of a battery power for some time after their continued instance that burning toast was just as cataclysmic as a raging inferno. This resulted in the untimely, uncalled for and deliberate disconnection of their batteries.
I know, I know…Bad Madden as Missy would say.
This careless abandon however resulted in the perfect opportunity of purchasing a Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector to both try some form of home automation and guard against any fire related mishaps.
The Nest Protect was created by Nest Labs and one it’s co-creators was Tony Fadell, the famous former Apple employee who is known as ‘one of the fathers of the iPod’. Nest Labs are also responsible for inventing the Nest Learning Thermostat and both items look so sleek and attractive that is was often speculated that Mr. Fadell might sell the company to Apple and return to his former employer. However, Nest Labs were eventually purchased by another big tech company name, Google.
Once I had my Nest Protect in my grubby little hands the care and attention to detail was immediately apparent. As with so many technological devices these days some care and thought had gone into the packaging and its presentation. This is usually wasted on me as I just want to get at the device as soon as possible. Inside the attractive packaging are four screws, a mounting bracket and the Nest Protect itself. An installation guide provides pretty easy instructions on setting up the device which you do before mounting it. It basically involves downloading the Nest app, adding a few details and logging the device onto your wifi network. Once this is out of the way you simply screw the mounting bracket onto the ceiling or wall, then attach the unit itself….Done. The whole process took less than ten minutes. I went for the battery powered option but there is a mains attached version also available which I assume requires more work to install.
A quick press of the button allows you to test the device to ensure everything is up and running.
So now I have my first piece of home automation installed and, ironically, it is the only piece of kit I hope I never have any real need of.